In order to survive the hot, dry climate of the desert vegetation has had to make a range of adaptations to survive.
For example cacti have adapted to survive in the desert. They have:
- stems that can store water;
- widespread root systems that can collect water from a large area.
In addition to this, cacti have spines instead of leaves. These minimise the surface area and so reduce water loss by transpiration (evaporation through the surface). The spines also protect the cacti from animals that might eat them.
The needles on a cactus reduce water loss by transpiration